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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name National Fair Housing Alliance v. Carson FH-DC-0018
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-01076-BAH ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Appleseed
Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Case Summary
On May 8, 2018, National Fair Housing Alliance, Texas Low Income Housing Information Services, and Texas Appleseed filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs were represented by the ... read more >
On May 8, 2018, National Fair Housing Alliance, Texas Low Income Housing Information Services, and Texas Appleseed filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs were represented by the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Fair Housing Alliance, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Public Citizen Litigation Group, and private counsel. They sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as attorneys’ fees and costs, alleged under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 5 U.S.C. § 702. They claimed a suspension of Fair Housing Act rules violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). This case was assigned to Judge Beryl Howell.

The background to this case began when, in 2009, amid widespread expert agreement that its current system for ensuring local government Fair Housing Act (FHA) compliance had failed, HUD began planning a substantial overhaul. The end product of six years of discussions and information gathering on the topic, the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule ("AFFH Rule") was finally promulgated in 2015. The rule requires cities and counties receiving federal housing assistance to submit to HUD an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) every three to five years, using an standardized template called the Assessment Tool. In the AFH, each participating local government must document any identified fair housing issues and outline its plans for addressing them; these plans are then reviewed by HUD for adequacy. The AFFH rule also commits HUD to providing participating cities and counties with guidance and technical support.

Yet on January 5, 2018, without providing advance notice or opportunity for comment, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register immediately suspending the AFH requirement of the AFFH rule. Specifically, it released local governments from submitting new assessments before October 31, 2020, and announced that it would not review any submitted AFHs before that date. The official reason given by the agency was that "program participants need more time to adjust to the new AFFH process" and "additional technical assistance may result in program participants better understanding their obligations under the AFFH rule." According to the plaintiffs, however, HUD has yet to take any public action to provide "additional technical assistance."

In their complaint filed on May 8, the plaintiffs asserted that these actions, taken together, ran afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act and breached the agency's obligations under the Fair Housing Act. Yet just a few weeks later, on May 23, 2018, HUD published three related notices in the Federal Register. The first of these withdrew the January 5 suspension of the rule. But the second and third notices, respectively, withdrew the Assessment Tool and announced that participating jurisdictions could meet their AFFH duty in place if they simply "acted in accordance" with HUD's pre-AFFH system.

In response, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on May 29, alleging that the combined effect of these these latter two notices was the same as the agency's initial suspension in January. Along with it, they also moved for a preliminary injunction and summary judgement, seeking the reinstatement of the Assessment Tool and the resumption of the normal AFH submission schedule. On June 5, 2018, several states and cities filed an amicus brief in their support, with the State of New York also moving to intervene as a plaintiff.

HUD filed its opposition brief on June 12, 2018, and later moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on July 9, arguing in both that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.

As of August 2018, the plaintiffs' motions for a preliminary injunction and summary judgment, HUD's motion to dismiss, and the state of New York's motion to intervene are all currently pending before the court; Judge Howell held a consolidated hearing on all three motions on August 9, 2019.

Sean Whetstone - 07/17/2018
Alexander Walling - 08/15/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Housing Authority
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Funding
Housing
Poverty/homelessness
Public assistance grants
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Plaintiff Description 1. NFHA is a nationwide alliance of private, nonprofit, fair housing organizations, including organizations in 28 states. 2. Texas Housers/Texas Low Income Housing information Services is a non-profit corporation with offices in Austin, 3. Texas Appleseed is a non-profit organization headquartered in Austin, Texas.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Appleseed
Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  2018 FAIR HOUSING TRENDS REPORT
http://nationalfairhousing.org
Date: January 2018
By: Shanti Abedin, Cathy Cloud, Alia Fierro, Debby Goldberg, Jorge Andres Soto, and Morgan Williams (National Fair Housing Alliance)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Date: Dec. 4, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18−cv−01076−BAH (D.D.C.)
FH-DC-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
FH-DC-0018-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and for Expedited Summary Judgment [ECF# 2]
FH-DC-0018-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 18]
FH-DC-0018-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/29/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and for Expedited Summary Judgment [ECF# 19]
FH-DC-0018-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/29/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of the States as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction and for Summary Judgment [ECF# 27]
FH-DC-0018-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Howell, Beryl Alaine (D.D.C.)
FH-DC-0018-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Michael Gerhart (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Colangelo, Matthew B. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-9000
Goodman, Rachel E.. (New York)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Greenbaum, Jon M. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Haberle, Megan (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Ifill, Sherrilyn (New York)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Park, Sandra S. (New York)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Pratt, Sara (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Quereshi, Ajmel (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Rich, Joseph D. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Samberg-Champion, Sasha M. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Silverstein, Thomas S. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Sloan, Madison (Texas)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Spital, Samuel (New York)
FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Tegeler, Philip D. (Connecticut)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005
Williams, Morgan Whitney (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Zieve, Allison Marcy (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0001 | FH-DC-0018-0002 | FH-DC-0018-0004 | FH-DC-0018-0005 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Halainen, Daniel (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-9000
Other Lawyers Becerra, Xavier (California)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Brown, Stanley Joseph (New York)
FH-DC-0018-9000
Cochran, Shaylyn Capri (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-9000
Emch, Dale R. (Ohio)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Ferguson, Robert W. (Washington)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Frosh, Brian E. (Maryland)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Gittens, Adrienne (Pennsylvania)
FH-DC-0018-9000
Grimm, John Robert (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0003 | FH-DC-0018-9000
Healey, Maura T. (Massachusetts)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Herring, Mark R. (Virginia)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Holmes, Peter S. (Washington)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Lebeouf, Sunni (Louisiana)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Morgan, Anne L. (Texas)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Parker, Barbara J (California)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Racine, Karl A. (District of Columbia)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Reeve, Tracy (Oregon)
FH-DC-0018-0003
Taplin, Cherrell Simms (Louisiana)
FH-DC-0018-0003

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